Why June Could be the Supreme Court’s Cruelest Month

The highest court in the country has 30 opinions remaining in the last leg of its highly controversial term
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As the Supreme Court quickly approaches the final weeks of the term, it has yet to cast its opinion on a laundry list of crucial issues that linger on the mind of many Americans, CNN reports. Abortion, gun rights, religious liberty, immigration, and the environment are all in play.

It is worth noting that June typically proves to be a tense time at the court, as a number of justices have mentioned over the years. However, this spring feels overwhelmingly uneasy, as the nine justices will delve into some of the most crucial and divisive issues facing the public. Additionally, the very institutional legitimacy of the high court is at stake.

Last month dropped like a ton of bricks on justices, as Justice Samuel Alito’s 98-page draft opinion striking down Roe v. Wade was published by Politico in an unprecedented internal breach of SCOTUS standards and protocol. Chief Justice John Roberts demanded an investigation headed by the Marshal of the Court and yet, to this day, no one knows anything—except that patriots on both sides of the issue are disgusted.

As of Monday morning, three opinions have been released: Gallardo v. MarstillerSiegel v. Fitzgerald, and Southwest Airlines v. Saxon—a fraction of the 30 that remain. Some of the giants that remain to be decided are:

Abortion

Abortion-rights activists attempt to block the path of anti-abortion parishioners as they attempt to march from the Old Saint Patrick Catholic Church to a nearby Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, June 4, 2022 in New York City, New York.(Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

In the leaked draft opinion, Alito said that Roe “must be overruled.” If the five-member majority were to hold, it would erase a nearly 50-year-old precedent and change the entire landscape of women’s reproductive rights for the future.

Second Amendment

Students participate in a school walk-out and protest in front of City Hall to condemn gun violence, in Los Angeles, California on May 31, 2022. (Photo by RINGO CHIU / AFP) (Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)

In yet another weekend of violence across America, at least 12 were left dead in mass shootings. Just days before, five were killed in a shooting at Tulsa medical building. This all followed a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 25, which resulted in the deaths of 19 children and two teachers. The Second Amendment has been put under the spotlight, as the country has seen at least 246 mass shootings in the first five months of 2022.

The court had previously been poised to strike down a New York law that placed restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon outside the home. With a new landscape having formed in the shadow of the violence that has plagued the country, Americans can expect a new and crucial decision regarding the Second Amendment.

Religious Liberty

Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy takes a knee in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after his legal case, Kennedy vs. Bremerton School District, was argued before the court on April 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In December, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding a Maine initiative that excluded various religious schools from a tuition assistance program. The program allows parents located in rural areas with no school district to utilize vouchers to send their children to public or private schools elsewhere. Some wanted to use the vouchers to send their kids to religious schools, which sparked the controversy.

The case of Joe Kennedy, who lost his job at a public school for praying at the 50-yard line after games, is being considered. Justices Stephen Breyer, Elana Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor expressed their concern about players feeling coerced by the school to take part in prayer.

Immigration

Immigration activists demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Biden v. Texas case. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

A Trump-era immigration policy—a version which the Biden administration has abandoned—is being defended by a group of Republican-led states. The case does not actually focus on the legality of the rule, but, rather, whether the Biden administration followed the correct procedure when it revoked the rule and dismissed any pending legal challenges.

The Trump policy made it far more difficult for immigrants to obtain legal status if they used public benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers. The justices could possibly reinstate these legal obstacles.

Climate Change

More than 100 New Yorkers on the frontlines of the climate crisis, including faith leaders and youth, held a protest outside BlackRock Headquarters in Manhattan, where their annual shareholders meeting took place. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The justices shocked many when they agreed to make a decision concerning the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. This dispute, in itself, could bring a halt to the Biden administration’s strides to slash emissions.

This all comes at a crucial moment, as scientists are waving the warning flags of potentially entering into a deadlier era of global warming. The fact that there were enough votes to take up the issue now may signal the court wants to limit the influence of the EPA’s authority.


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